THOUGHTS ON PATS
Despite the 24 point spread, the Eagles came out on Sunday night and gave the unbeaten Patriots all they could handle. But alas, the Patriots pull out the win by 3. I'm curious what in the world Andy Reid and/or A.J. Feeley were thinking on that play where Feeley threw that interception with under 4 minutes left in the game. I couldn't believe a play like that would even be called when it's 2nd and 4 and you're already inside New England's 30 and all you need is a field goal to tie it. And why would Feeley even make that pass? At no point in his route was Kevin Curtis ever open. It's plays like those in which you understand why Feeley is a backup QB in this league. Nobody ever questioned his physical ability. But from the neck up, he isn't starting material and decisions like that one prove it.
I also quickly wanted to point out something Deion Sanders said on the NFL Network following the Pats/Eagles game. He actually makes a good point about Wes Welker. While the media drools all over Welker and wonders how the Dolphins could have traded him, it's Deion bringing some sanity to the discussion. He makes the point that Welker is constantly matched up on either the opposing team's 3rd corner or a linebacker. Why? Because of the two dangerous weapons on the outside named Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth. So the media needs to realize it's not so much Welker's ability as the reason why he has the numbers he has. Sure, he's a good receiver. But his numbers are greatly increased because of the team he plays on and the system he plays in. But most of the mainstream media probably won't ever grasp that idea.
Last thought about this game. It just goes to show you that the old mantra, "any given Sunday..." is as true as ever. So why not the Dolphins? If a 24 point road underdog can stay within 3 of the unbeaten Pats, then surely the 16 point road underdog Dolphins can keep this game close tonight!
Well for the second start in a row, John Beck will have to deal with poor playing conditions. Rain is expected throughout the day in Pittsburgh and will likely linger into the game. It's said that it's the receivers who have the advantage in these games over the corners because they know where they are going while the corners have to react. But that's assuming the QB can get a good handle on the ball itself when making these throws. This game is definitely going to be a good learning experience, if nothing else, for John Beck.
I wanted to quickly touch on what I'll be watching in terms of John and his passes. First, I want to see better accuracy when throwing to a receiver running an underneath drag route, a la the Derek Hagan pass which was John's 3rd attempt last game. He needs to make those throws. I also be looking for improved timing when throwing the quick slant or quick hitch route. With a weapon like Ted Ginn, the quick slant has to be a throw John and Teddy work on often so they can get the timing down. That's the kind of play that could go the distance whenever it's executed perfectly. And lastly, I want to continue to see John going to through his progressions and making good decisions. He didn't make too many bad decisions last week, and I hope to see even fewer this week.
And one more thing. Could these Dolphin receivers, for the love of god, please help out John and make some freakin' plays. I had to watch guys like Tony Scheffler for Denver and Greg Lewis for Philly make multiple big plays on passes which really should have been incomplete. Can we even just once see a receiver make a play to help out John Beck? Is that asking too much?
THIS & THAT
-Derrick Pope, despite being hospitalized, has made the trip with the team, to Pittsburgh. It's unknown at this point why he was in the hospital and if he will play on Monday night. Pope did release a statement, but it didn't really say much. All it said was, "I didn't feel well and thought I needed medical attention. Everything checked out and I feel better." I'm glad he feels better, but it's odd that we have no idea why he was in the hospital. Oh well.
-It's still unknown at this point what, if any, role Ricky Williams will have tonight. All reports indicate that Jesse Chatman has actually gotten worse as the week went on, but Cam nor Ricky have said anything about what we might expect from Ricky. But that's to be expected. Wouldn't want to give away any gameplan or anything. But I do wonder about Ricky's conditioning. Following Friday's practice, when asked how he felt, Ricky said, "tired right now." When asked why he was so tired, Ricky said, "because it's hot and it was a hard practice." At least it won't be hot tonight in Pittsburgh. But how will Ricky's body hold up in his first game action in a long time? We'll have to wait and see.
That's it for now. Look for the game thread to be posted earlier than usual so we can use that thread for any and all game talk once I get it posted. Until then, your thoughts below...